Page images


His kirtle, made of forest green,

Reached scantly to his knee;
And, at his belt, of arrows keen

A furbished sheaf bore he;
His buckler scarce in breadth a span,

No longer fence had he;
He never counted him a man,

Would strike below the knee;
His slackened bow was in his hand,
And the leash, that was his blood-hound's band.


He would not do the fair child harm,
But held him with his powerful arm,
That he might neither fight nor flee;
For when the Red-Cross spied he,
The boy strove long and violently.
M Now, by St George," the archer cries,
M Edward, methinks we have a prize!

This boy's fair face, and courage free,
Shews he is come of high degree."


"Yes! I am come of high degree,

For I am the heir of bold Buccleuch; And, if thou dost not set me free,

False Southron, thou shalt dearly rue! For Walter of Harden shall come with speed, And William of Deloraine, good at need, And every Scott from Esk to Tweed; And, if thou dost not let me go, Despite thy arrows, and thy bow, I'll have thee hanged to feed the crow!"


"Gramercy, for thy good will, fair boy!
My mind was never set so high;
But if thou art chief of such a clan,
And art the son of such a man,

And ever comest to thy command,

Our wardens had need to. keep good order: My bow of yew to a hazel wand,

Thou'lt make them work upon the Border. Meantime, be pleased to come with me, For good Lord Dacre shalt thou see; I think our work is well begun, When we have taken thy father's son."—


Although the child was led away,
In Branksome still he seemed to stay,
For so the Dwarf his part did play;
And, in the shape of that young boy,
He wrought the castle much annoy.
The comrades of the young Buccleuch
He pinched, and beat, and overthrew;
Nay, some of them he well nigh slew.
He tore Dame Maudlin's silken tire,
And, as Sym Hall stood by the fire,

He lighted the match of his bandelier,*
And woefully scorched the hackbutteer.f
It may be hardly thought or said,
The mischief that the urchin made,
Till many of the castle guessed,
That the young Baron was possessed!


Well I ween, the charm he held
The noble Ladye had soon dispelled;
But she was deeply busied then
To tend die wounded Deloraine.

Much she wondered to find him he,
On the stone threshold stretched along;

She thought some spirit of the sky

Had done the bold moss-trooper wrong Because, despite her precept dread, Perchance he in the Book had read;

Bandelier, belt for carrying ammunition,
t Hackbutteer, musketeer.

But the broken lance in his bosom stood,
And it was earthly steel and wood.


She drew the splinter from the wound,

And with a charm she staunched the blood;

She bade the gash be cleansed and bound:
No longer by his couch she stood;

But she has ta'en the broken lance,
And washed it from the clotted gore,
And salved the splinter o'er and o'er.

William of Deloraine, in trance,

Whene'er she turned it round and round,
Twisted, as if she galled his wound.

Then to her maidens she did say,
That he should be whole man and sound,
Within the course of a night and day.

Full long she toiled; for she did rue

Mishap to friend so stout and true.

« PreviousContinue »